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Microsoft releases DirectX 7.0

Microsoft Corporation on Wednesday announced the immediate availability of DirectX 7.0, the latest version of its popular multimedia application programming interface (API). DirectX 7.0 enables Windows 95 and 98 systems to display 3D graphics and sound effects in ways that were never before possible. DirectX 7.0 will also be included in Windows 2000, due by the end of the year.

"The overriding goal of DirectX is to make game development more fun and less work by allowing developers to create cutting-edge software without worrying about the hardware they're creating it for," said Ted Hase, group program manager for DirectX evangelism at Microsoft. "DirectX 7.0 continues to build on the advancements made in DirectX 6.1, providing further improvement to performance optimization, greater ease of development, and superior 3-D graphics and sound."

DirectX 7.0 builds on the wildly popular DirectX 6.1 by adding features such as hardware-accelerated transformation and lighting and support for stereo goggles while providing a 20% performance boost over the previous version. Audio improvements include new 3D sound algorithms, hardware acceleration for DirectSound, and support for the downloadable DLS 2 standard.

DirectX 7.0 is also the first release to incorporate support for Visual Basic, the most popular programming language ever created.

You can download DirectX 7.0 and the DirectX 7.0 SDK from the Microsoft Web site

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